Norwalk’s Cam Edwards looking forward to being part of rebuild of UConn football

NORWALK — The top Bear is about to become a Husky.

Norwalk’s Cam Edwards, the New Haven Register’s All-State Player of the Year, will be joining the UConn football team after signing his National Letter of Intent in front of teammates, coaches and friends on Wednesday.

Edwards went on an official visit to the Storrs campus last Friday and made his final decision during the weekend after narrowing the choices to UConn, Rhode Island and Central Connecticut.

“When I got on the campus,” Edwards said, “it felt like I was at home.”

After watching UConn games from the stands from a young age, he’ll now have the chance to be in the spotlight.

“I went to UConn games when I was little, so I’ve always wanted to go to UConn,” Edwards said. “I wanted to be one of those dudes on the stage playing in college football.”

When word got out on Sunday, the congratulations poured in, especially during school on Monday. Edwards said he hasn’t had much time to himself after he posted the news on Instagram.

“My phone has been blowing up all day,” Edwards said with a smile. “It’s everybody congratulating me, even the teachers. Everybody’s happy for me. It’s the start of a new journey and I really think I’ll succeed.”

“It’s exciting for Norwalk and it’s exciting for the state of Connecticut to have a guy like him (playing at UConn),” Norwalk coach Pat Miller said. “The whole town of Norwalk is going to sell out The Rent (Rentschler Field) by itself now.”

A 6-foot, 190-pound running back and defensive back, Edwards said he was eager to join the Huskies and become part of the program’s new direction under coach Jim Mora. He said he’s been in touch with coach John Marinelli and defensive backs coach Dalton Hilliard “almost every day.”

“I want to be a part of the culture of rebuilding,” Edwards said. “It’s a new staff and a new culture, and I want to be a part of that journey. I’m very positive that UConn is going to turn it around.”

Signing day was not without some bittersweet feelings.

In December, 2020, Edwards lost someone who was “a big factor” in his life when his grandmother Linda Pollard died.

“I’ll probably have some tears, but it’s going to be a joyful moment,” Edwards said on Monday. “I know she’s happy looking down and watching me right now.”

Edwards posted incredible numbers as a senior. He rushed for 1,666 yards in 10 games, topping 150 yards seven times and 200 yards four times. He scored 28 touchdowns and had 2,128 all-purpose yards.

Defensively, Edwards had three interceptions, one fumble recovery, a blocked field goal and 40 tackles.

The highlight came in a week eight match-up in Wilton, when Edwards rushed for 291 yards and five touchdowns, and also had an interception during a 41-21 win. Of his totals, 253 yards and four TDs came in the second half.

Norwalk finished 7-3 and Edwards said the Bears were united in Miller’s first season as coach.

“We were all passionate and we all came together,” Edwards said. “In the past, we hadn’t really done things together like we did this year. We were just a big family.”

Edwards started playing flag football when he was 5, but soon fell in love with the tackle game, inspired by his uncle, Terron Edwards, who played at Brien McMahon.

“I saw him playing tackle football, so I said I want to do that,” Edwards said. “Ever since I started Pop Warner, I’ve just enjoyed football. I sleep, breathe, wake up and think about football.”

According to Miller, Norwalk has had trouble keeping talented players, who are recruited by prep schools, but Edwards wanted to showcase his skills as a Bear.

“It was something special for him and he wanted to do it at Norwalk,” Miller said. “He showed that you can do it here and if you’re a good player, they’ll find you. We’re indebted to him and he’s going to affect this program years after he’s gone. I don’t think he realizes that.

“He made playing football at Norwalk cool.”

That dedication to football helped make Edwards the toast of the town in Norwalk.

“There’s such a buzz in the school and the town,” Miller said. “Everyone is so excited for him and we can’t wait to see him play for UConn.”

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports